Firefighter killed battling massive California blaze




  • In US
  • 2017-12-15 02:42:03Z
  • By By Dan Whitcomb

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A firefighter was killed on Thursday while battling a mammoth California wildfire as crews sought to protect coastal cities and towns in the path of flames that have destroyed more than 700 homes.

The flag-draped remains of firefighter Cory Iverson, 32, were driven out of the fire zone in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles, in a hearse as his comrades saluted from roadsides and overpasses.

"Anne and I are saddened by Engineer Cory Iverson's tragic death. His bravery and years of committed service to the people of California will never be forgotten," California Governor Jerry Brown said in a statement.

Fire officials released little information about the circumstances surrounding Iverson's death, which came while he was fighting the so-called Thomas Fire, now the fourth-largest wildfire on record in California since 1932.

The Los Angeles Daily News reported that Iverson, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection engineer, perished in an accident near the community of Fillmore, where a mayday alert was sounded.

The Thomas Fire, which erupted on Dec. 4 near a small private college in Ojai, has since blackened more than 249,000 acres.

The conflagration advanced again overnight to surpass the Zaca Fire, which struck Santa Barbara County in 2007, charring 240,000 acres (97,120 hectares).

The Thomas Fire, which was 35 percent contained as of Thursday evening, has burned 729 single-family homes to the ground and damaged another 175. The blaze has displaced more than 94,000 people.

The wildfire remained a threat to some 18,000 homes and other structures in the communities of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Summerland and Montecito along California's scenic coastline, especially if hot, dry Santa Ana winds return.

Red-flag warnings, issued for extreme fire weather conditions in the area, were extended through Friday morning.

"Right now, there really is a fear in the community. We're very used to fire, but the magnitude of this one is something that we haven't seen," Monique Limon, a state assembly member whose districts includes parts of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, told Reuters

Many public schools in the Santa Barbara area canceled classes this week and will not reopen until the annual winter break ends in January.

Some of the other fires burning over the past week in San Diego and Los Angeles counties have largely been brought under control.

Investigators determined that the Skirball Fire, which destroyed six homes in Los Angeles' wealthy Bel-Air neighborhood and scorched a building at a winery owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, was started by a cooking fire at a homeless encampment, the Los Angeles Fire Department said earlier this week.

The Lilac Fire, which burned more than 4,000 acres (1,620 hectares) in northern San Diego County and destroyed 157 structures, was 97 percent contained as of Thursday, Cal Fire said.

(Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee, Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Leslie Adler)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Cards
Cards' Carpenter homers in sixth straight game

First baseman Matt Carpenter homered for a franchise record sixth consecutive game as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Chicago Cubs 6-3 on Saturday. Carpenter's six-game homer run is the longest single-season streak in Cardinals' history, surpassing Mark McGwire, who homered in five straight

1 dead, dozens of hostages freed after Los Angeles standoff
1 dead, dozens of hostages freed after Los Angeles standoff

A woman was shot and killed when a gunman ran into a busy Los Angeles supermarket where he held dozens of people hostage for about three hours Saturday before handcuffing himself and surrendering to police. No hostages were seriously hurt. Police chased the vehicle and exchanged gunfire with the man

Springer
Springer's slam, Verlander's K's send Astros past Halos, 7-0

George Springer hit a grand slam while the Astros batted around in the sixth inning, and Justin Verlander ended his six-start winless streak with 11 strikeouts over six dominant innings in Houston's 7-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night. Verlander (10-5) yielded five hits while

Gunman arrested after deadly Los Angeles store hostage standoff
Gunman arrested after deadly Los Angeles store hostage standoff
  • US
  • 2018-07-22 02:43:01Z

Police in Los Angeles arrested a man who took hostages and barricaded himself inside a Trader Joe's store on Saturday, ending a three-hour standoff during which he fatally shot a woman inside, authorities said. The man, who was being chased by police after he was suspected of repeatedly shooting

JaVale McGee: Lakers are going to be
JaVale McGee: Lakers are going to be 'one of the most fun teams ever'

Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee expects the personalities in their new-look locker room to mesh and provide plenty of fun.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.